(Fragment) Tal R. The Bend, 2016. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk. Donation: Ny Carlsbergfondet

Mysterious and powerful 0

Q&A with Anders Kold, Curator & Head of Acquisitions at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Arterritory.com
22/05/2017 

Academy of Tal R
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
20.5.2017 - 10.9.2017

The Danish Tal R (1967) is one of the most striking artists of his generation with a strong and growing international reputation. The vivid palette and rich imagery of Tal R’s paintings evoke naïve art ‒ so simple that high art sometimes feels almost like a child’s play. The balanced canvases with their expressive colours and bold brushwork demonstrate a deep understanding of painterly traditions. Tal R’s semi-abstract largescale paintings depict human characters, objects and environment in a truly unique style.

During the past decade, Louisiana has established a distinctive collection of works with a particular focus on paintings by Tal R. It is therefore a natural way to round off the Louisiana trilogy of contemporary artists with painting as their central practice: Peter Doig in 2015, Daniel Richter in 2016 and now Tal R.


Academy of TAL R. 20.05 - 10.09. 2017. Tal R. Habakuk, 2017. Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Galleri Bo; Bjerggaard; Victoria Miro, London; Cheim & Read, New York. Photo: Anders Sune Berg © Paradis/Tal R – Copenhagen 

Arterritory.com contacted Anders Kold, Curator & Head of Acquisitions at the Louisiana to ask him four questions relating to this exhibition.

What new and unique aspects does this exhibition reveal about Tal R, such a well-known figure in the art world?

Tal R is rightly a well-known figure in the art world. And an enormously productive one, too. What makes this presentation special, I guess, is that I picked the works for the show entirely – not him. And then it is also the first real overview to be had in one show, highlighting work from 1996 till the present day. Even someone as busy and productive on all fronts as Tal needs this kind of vision from the outside. And when finished at the Louisiana Museum, the exhibition will be presented at the wonderful Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.


Tal R. House of Prince, 2003-05. Photo: www.talr.dk

Could you give us a few highlights of the oeuvre that can be seen in this exhibition?

Let me give you three excellent reasons to come. Back in the years 2003-05, Tal R painted a gigantic piece entitled ‘House of Prince’. It consists of 194 smaller paintings and is a major exercise in ‘bad painting’ turning out rather wonderful. It is mesmerizing, completely defying any attempt at a panoramic overview. Very rarely shown – I understand why somehow – the piece is no going on view with us and in Rotterdam.

The second option will be a huge gallery featuring some forty sculptures installed by the artist himself. No curator could do it that way – completely ‘out of his mind’, but unravelling truths about the work that really only he could stage.

The last call for me would be his new word paintings. Tal is not an academic artist – hence the mild irony of the title of the show, ‘Academy of Tal R’ – but neither do words escape him. In a very poetic and at times almost Dadaistic way, the new body of work manages to intertwine word and image like I have never seen it done before. It is mysterious and very powerful at the same time.


Academy of TAL R. 20.05 - 10.09.2017. Academy of Tal R. Installation view of Tal R’s sculptures, The Graphics Wing at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. Credit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk

What is the physical layout of this exhibition?

The artist turned 50 on the opening night, and to stage it in strict chronological order would have been wrong, considering the vitality of his production. He’s very much alive, and therefore we zig-zag back and forth between 1996 and works that are barely dry, painting taking over from sculpture, leading to drawings and big collages. It will be a collage.


Academy of TAL R. 20.05 - 10.09. 2017. Tal R. Habakuk, 2017. Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Galleri Bo; Bjerggaard; Victoria Miro, London; Cheim & Read, New York. Photo: Anders Sune Berg © Paradis/Tal R – Copenhagen 

What kind of experience do you want visitors to have?

I hope to provide some basic footing for those who do not know him well – an overview spanning 20 years – and to be able to make the guests see corresponding trends across the time. Making real sense of something, and not necessarily everything from A-Z, is what I hope to achieve. This is when people start to use their minds and emotions and not just their eyes.


Academy of TAL R. 20.05 - 10.09.2017. Academy of Tal R. Installation view of Tal R’s sculptures, The Graphics Wing at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. Credit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk

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